Section 157: Publication of local policing information
403.This section inserts new section 8A into the Police Act 1996. It places a duty on police authorities to produce a summary of information on local policing matters, specifically for members of the public, as soon as possible after the end of each financial year (31st March).
404.New section 8A(3) permits the Secretary of State, by order (subject to the negative resolution procedure), to specify matters that must be included in this ‘local policing summary’. Examples of the types of material that may be required to be included in the summary are:
crime statistics for the police area, including data showing the trend over time and comparisons with other forces or Basic Command Units, for:
volume crimes (vehicle crime, robbery, domestic burglary);
violent crime; and
sanction detections (i.e. crimes detected where there was a method of disposal which had consequences e.g. a warning, caution, reprimand as opposed to those detected and written off because for example the injured party no longer wished to press charges);
any performance indicators, standards and targets specified or set in relation to policing in the local area for the financial year being reported upon;
local and force level policing priorities;
numbers of police officers, Community Support Officers and other police staff employed by the police authority in the local area;
details of any assessments undertaken by Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabulary in the local area;
contact details for local police commanders;
contact details for local police stations;
information on the membership, role and priorities of the police authority;
information on how the public can get involved in local community safety initiatives;
local projects/ initiatives that are underway; and
information on joining the police.
405.New section 8A(4) requires police authorities to publish and then make appropriate efforts to distribute the ‘local policing summary’ to all households in its police area.
406.New section 8A(5) requires police authorities to have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State on the form and content of the local policing summary.
407.New section 8A(6) requires the Secretary of State, prior to making an order under new section 8A(2) or issuing guidance, to consult with appropriate stakeholders – including police authority and chief officer representative bodies (namely, the Association of Police Authorities and the Association of Chief Police Officers).